Skyfire Avenue, Chapter 759

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Chapter 759: Survivors

Lan Jue’s heart fluttered. If the planets were close – or suddenly appeared – even his father’s power couldn’t protect them. But it was too late to change course now. The only path was forward.

One large figure and two smaller ones shot out into space.

The large one was Thor. Lan Jue and Qianlin weren’t Paragons, so although they could survive in space it cost them less energy to rely on the mecha. What’s more, the suit was still a help to Lan Jue.

The Pharmacist and the Wine Master sat on Thor’s shoulders, Qianlin rested in Lan Jue’s arms within the cockpit. The mecha’s back sparked and flared as the Banishing Stone came online, making them indistinguishable from their surroundings. Thus hidden, they moved in closer toward the nearby planet.

Hailin was a planet rich in ocean resources 1. Water covered sixty seven percent of the surface and it was one of the first planets discovered by the West after its interstellar migration. It wasn’t large, but it was well suited for human life. No environmental aids were needed for people to live comfortably.

Sadly this once rich and fertile world had become a purple orb. Its beautiful oceans were murky purple marshes now. As they got closer they could see aliens in droves moving along the ground.

“Are we close enough, Wine Master?” Lan Jue asked.

“It’s fine.”

Thor slowly came to a stop at the border of the aliens’ psionic reach. Trails of silver light followed the Wine Master’s scepter as he waved it before him, which coalesced into auras of light that hung over the small party. He motioned again, and a door of light appeared.

Lan Jue needed no instruction. He piloted Thor through the portal. There was a flash, then the door and the humans were gone.

Breaking through such a heavy cluster of enemies was too difficult. Simply teleporting past them was much simpler. The silver door appeared again on the reverse side of the planet’s surface. Thor, the Wine Master, and the Pharmacist stepped out into a dead world.

Successful passage! None of the aliens seemed the wiser. The Wine Master’s abilities had improved after his second breakthrough. His transferals were more precise and could be maintained over longer distances. This would have been impossible for the Skyfire chairman just a short time ago.

Lan Jue gave his old friend a thumbs-up from inside the cockpit. “Well done, we weren’t discovered. Let’s take a look around.” As he spoke Thor squat low, and the mecha’s radar was engaged.

His suit’s equipment was the best money could buy. Not long after its systems were employed, large patches of alien activity were revealed to them. In one direction the purple hue was fainter – analysis stated it was the ocean. It appeared as though the aliens hadn’t been here long enough to infect the deeper parts of the seas.

“Look for signs of life.” Lan Jue ordered.

Thor continued to pulse the surroundings with its radar. It beeped to confirm the presence of life.

“This is…” It was only able to show the outline of the figures. An alien? Purple, too, but it had the appearance of a human! There weren’t many – maybe around a thousand.

“What did you find?” The Wine Master asked.

Lan Jue’s response was guarded. “Life. Human, but… purple.”

The Wine Master was just as surprised as he was. “Could this mean they’ve already figured out how to shift into human form?”

The Pharmacist offered her input. “Should I go take a look?”

“We’ll go together,” Lan Jue said.

Thor crouched even lower, then launched itself in the direction of the human colony.

They raced passed buildings in various states of destruction. They were in the process of being dissolved away. It didn’t take them long to reach where the radar said the human were.

Thankfully the aliens were few, in complete contrast to the thickly dotted space above them. So far their radar had only picked up a few sparse groups in the distance.

Thor was equipped with its own sort of cloaking device. Its presence would only be uncovered when it got close. It also boasted the East’s most recent psionic shielding equipment. Unless they came upon an umbrella alien, typical monsters would only be able to sense Thor if they came close.

With the help of these systems Thor approached the building unseen. It must have once been a stadium. They kept their distance, observing the scene. The first thing to note was that it appeared to be missing its roof. Thor approached slowly instead of rushing in, creeping up to the lip of one of its sides and peering inside.

The same purple filth that coated the rest of the planet carpeted the interior of the stadium. What was strange were the cocoons that were interspersed among the fungus. They were about three meters long, and each of them was surrounded by a crowd of people.

Most of them were stained purple like the earth they stood upon. The sick color painted them from head to toe, and though they looked like humans their eyes were dull and sightless. They were larger than normal, and muscular like giants.

“They look like Western Converts.” The Wine Master mused.

Just then one of the cocoons split open. Inside was a naked human, burly and tough. They looked very similar to the others milling around.

They continued to watch as several larger aliens appeared. They deposited groups of normal-looking humans. Some struggled, some cried, some just stood there in impotent shock.

Survivors. There were survivors!

The discovery thrilled Lan Jue, the Wine Master and the Pharmacist. After so many days they thought all the humans would have long since been devoured for energy.

The aliens heaved their victims forward, into the arena. Once inside they were deposited into vacant cocoons. As they closed the purple earth slithered in pleasure.

“They’re using humans as a basis for transformation.” Lan Jue discerned. They were transforming them instead of taking their life essence. For what reason? Was it to get a better understanding of their genetic makeup?

Lan Jue sighed. “There’s nothing we can do. Besides, we have a mission. Let’s see how these corrupted people react after their transformation.”

He didn’t even finish talking before Thor was on the move. It descended into the arena from overhead, surrounded by an aura of warped space.

Its metallic feet slammed into the fungus-ridden ground, causing it to shake. The rumbles were like thunder as bolts of lightning blasted out in all directions. The alien foliage didn’t even have a chance to tremble before the All-Heaven lightning erased it from existence.

Thor’s appearance was loud and fast, too sudden for the aliens to react. In the space of a breath the aliens were struck down by the lightning and reduced to ash. A few of the bigger ones left vital crystals behind.

Although Thor couldn’t amplify Lan Jue’s Discipline by much, it had no problem employing it.

Surprise flashed through the Wine Master’s eyes. He was impressed by how strong Lan Jue had become, and how quickly.

At last the humanoid aliens reacted. They screamed and howled, then rushed forward with complete disregard to their own safety.

Their speed alone showed they were so longer human. They were covered in thick, corded muscles and veins slithered up their necks like snakes burrowed under the skin. They moved like the monsters they’d become, and seemed no less capable of causing serious damage in a fight.

Thor leapt into action. It swept over the rush of monsters towards the cocoons behind them. Blasts of electricity split them open and the blue mecha saved the humans within, who had yet to be transformed by their ordeal.

The unfortunate infected were in close pursuit. Thor spun around and stomped its metallic foot. The force of the impact sent a shockwave through the ground and caused them to lose their footing.

Meanwhile a flood of power came their way, making the hair on the back of their necks stand on end. A swarm of aliens were headed in their direction.

The Wine Master took charge. “I’ve got a plan!”

He reached out into thin air and his scepter appeared in a flash of light. He waved it twice and two streaks of silver were left in its path. It blocked the survivors from the infected.

“Go!” He yelled. 2


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  1. The name is literally ‘ocean forest.’
  2. I’ve seen this somewhere before.

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